Consideration Consumers: Do You Really Need to have That Plastic Bag?

“The plastic bag is an approved part of Canada’s buying tradition, but it should not be. Every single calendar year we use over 9 billion plastic buying baggage in Canada. Which is seventeen,000 baggage a minute.”

– Greener Footprints

Canadians use 9-15 billion plastic buying baggage each and every yr

To get a truly feel for just how a lot of bags that actually is, image this: if we tied 9 billion luggage jointly, they would circle the earth fifty five times (Greener Footprints).

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Every single 12 months it truly is believed among 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic baggage are utilised throughout the globe. Though they weren’t extensively used right up until the eighties, their effect has already been felt around the planet.

A quick stroll by means of your neighbourhood can often reveal how pervasive plastic bags are when it comes to the issue of litter. Hanging from tree branches or tangled in hedges, plastic bags have turn into a depressing fixture in city eco-friendly spaces like parks, schoolyards, and sporting activities fields. Such litter is not only ugly it can also contribute to main environmental troubles.

Big buildups of discarded plastic baggage can clog drainage systems and add to key floods. This kind of flooding induced widespread destruction in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. Manila has also been vulnerable to flooding as a end result of plastic-bag clogged sewers. In 2009, a lot more than eighty% of the Philippines’ capital was submerged. Hundreds ended up killed and 1000’s a lot more were still left homeless when entire neighbourhoods ended up swept away.

Other aquatic chaos produced by plastic luggage has established fatal to these who dwell in the water as well.

Approximately a hundred,000 whales, seals, turtles and other maritime animals are killed every year by plastic baggage, which can strangle their victims or trigger them to starve to death, according to Planet Ark, an intercontinental environmental team. A lifeless gray whale that washed ashore in Seattle in 2010 was discovered to have far more than twenty plastic baggage in its tummy.

A 2012 University of British Columbia study identified that ninety three for each cent of beached northern fulmars (migratory seabirds associated to the albatross) experienced bellies entire of plastic – a significant enhance from the previous time they have been tested, in 1980.

In fact, plastic packaging is accumulating so swiftly, it is expected to outnumber fish in the sea by 2050, in accordance to a modern report by the Planet Financial Forum.

Yikes.

According to the David Suzuki Basis, “Number of plastic bags are recycled. Most are employed for a limited time to have groceries, and then possibly re-utilised as rubbish baggage or to wrap pet poop just before ending up in the landfill or the ocean. Some men and women argue that, since they make up about one particular per cent of the quantity of squander in landfills, we should not fret. But one for every cent of the enormous quantities of what is in landfills is a whole lot, specially since plastic doesn’t biodegrade.”

Most plastic baggage are produced from polyethylene and can consider hundreds of a long time to decompose.

But methods are being taken to minimize the environmental footprint of plastic luggage. Use of plastic bags is possibly restricted or fully banned in above a quarter of the world’s nations.

China, Italy, Bangladesh, South Africa, and parts of Australia have banned plastic luggage outright, whilst municipal bans exist in areas of India, Mexico, Britain, the U.S., and Canada.

Plastaxes – taxes on plastic baggage paid by customers – and new recycling rules have also been introduced in to assist tackle the issue.

In February 2016, Walmart Canada started phasing out one particular-use searching baggage at Canadian Walmart retailers. In spot of these, buyers will be presented discounted reusable baggage for 25 cents. But plastic baggage will nevertheless be presented for five cents in an energy to lessen the quantity of single-use baggage they distribute.

In my neck of the woods (Sidney, British Columbia), the grocery keep I frequent isn’t going to have plastic grocery bags but they do provide solitary-use brown paper baggage – or, of system, you can use reusable grocery luggage or a reusable cardboard box, specifically created to hold the bodyweight of groceries. My private choice is a box and several reusable luggage.

Though my group is supposedly really environmentally-pleasant, I would have to say that, based on my individual observations, the greater part of the grocery store clients nevertheless choose the single-use brown paper bag above the reusable bag and/or box. And I’m not certain why. Comfort, possibly?